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Dominant vs. Predominant: Know the Difference

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By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Dominant means most influential or powerful; predominant means most common or widespread.
Dominant vs. Predominant

Key Differences

Dominant and predominant, while often used interchangeably, have nuanced differences. Dominant implies control or authority over others, often through superiority in power, while predominant suggests being most common or frequent in number or presence. Each term carves its niche in describing power or prevalence.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023
Dominance is about power and the ability to assert control in a situation or over others. It's the strength or influence that one entity holds over another. Predominance, on the other hand, speaks to widespread occurrence or prevalence within a particular area or field. It indicates that something is the most common or notable within a context.
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In genetics, a dominant trait is one that is expressed in the phenotype over another trait, while the predominant trait is the one most commonly found in a population. Here, dominance is about the expression of a trait, and predominance is about the frequency of a trait within a group.
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In ecology, a dominant species is the one that dictates the conditions of its environment, often through sheer force or aggressive behavior. In contrast, a predominant species is the one most frequently encountered or most numerous in a community. Dominance here reflects influence, while predominance reflects abundance.
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Nov 08, 2023
Dominant can also refer to a hierarchical position, such as a dominant figure in a social group who wields the most power or influence. Predominant, however, describes a trait or characteristic that is most noticeable or common among a set of elements. So, a dominant leader might not be the predominant choice if they are not the most commonly supported or recognized.
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Comparison Chart

Definition

Exercising power or influence over others.
Most common or widespread in occurrence.
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Usage in Context

More about power dynamics and authority.
More about frequency or commonality.
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Implication

Implies control or authority.
Implies being most noticeable or widespread.
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Usage in Biology

Refers to a gene that expresses itself over a recessive one.
Refers to the most common trait within a population.
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Usage in Ecology

Refers to the species that has a controlling influence on the environment.
Refers to the most abundant or frequently occurring species.
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Dominant and Predominant Definitions

Dominant

Genetically expressed trait
Brown eyes are dominant over blue eyes.
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Predominant

Most frequent
Jazz is the predominant music genre in this area.
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Dominant

In a controlling position
She held a dominant role in the company.
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Predominant

Mainly present
Smartphones are the predominant form of communication.
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Dominant

Predominant in area
Oak trees are the dominant vegetation here.
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Predominant

Most common
Blue is the predominant color in the painting.
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Dominant

Authoritative
His dominant personality was apparent in meetings.
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Predominant

Most noticeable
The predominant theme of the novel is redemption.
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Dominant

Exercising the most power, control, or influence
The dominant nations during the Cold War.
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Predominant

Widely spread
Electric cars are becoming the predominant choice.
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Dominant

Most abundant or conspicuous; predominant
"[The fireplaces'] shallow brick arches are a relief from the dominant squares and verticals of the windows and doors" (Stephen A. Kliment).
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Predominant

Having the most importance, influence, or force
The predominant theory in the field.
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Dominant

Higher; overlooking
Dominant hills.
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Predominant

Most common or conspicuous; main or prevalent
"Egrets, gulls and small mammals are the predominant wildlife on the island these days" (Dan McCoubrey).
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Dominant

Tending to be stronger than its counterpart or used for the most important tasks or in the most pressing situations
Which is your dominant eye? Throw the ball with your dominant arm.
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Predominant

Common or widespread; prevalent.
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Dominant

(Genetics) Of, relating to, or being an allele that produces the same phenotypic effect in heterozygotes as in homozygotes.
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Predominant

Significant or important; dominant.
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Dominant

(Ecology) Of, relating to, or being a species that is most characteristic of an ecological community and usually determines the presence, abundance, and type of other species.
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Predominant

(music) A subdominant.
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Dominant

(Music) Relating to or based on the fifth tone of a diatonic scale.
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Predominant

Having the ascendency over others; superior in strength, influence, or authority; prevailing; as, a predominant color; predominant excellence.
Those help . . . were predominant in the king's mind.
Foul subordination is predominant.
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Dominant

(Genetics) A dominant allele or a trait produced by a dominant allele.
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Predominant

Most frequent or common;
Prevailing winds
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Dominant

(Ecology) A dominant species.
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Predominant

Having superior power and influence;
The predominant mood among policy-makers is optimism
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Dominant

(Music) The fifth tone of a diatonic scale.
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Dominant

(music) The fifth major tone of a musical scale (five major steps above the note in question); thus G is the dominant of C, A of D, and so on.
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Dominant

(music) The triad built on the dominant tone.
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Dominant

(genetics) A gene that is dominant.
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Dominant

A species or organism that is dominant.
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Dominant

(BDSM) The dominating partner in sadomasochistic sexual activity.
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Dominant

Ruling; governing; prevailing
The dominant party controlled the government.
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Dominant

Predominant, common, prevalent, of greatest importance.
The dominant plants of the Carboniferous were lycopods and early conifers.
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Dominant

Preferred and used with greater dexterity than the other, as the right hand of a right-handed person or the left hand of a left-handed one.
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Dominant

(medicine) Designating the follicle which will survive atresia and permit ovulation.
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Dominant

(music) Being the dominant
Dominant seventh
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Dominant

Ruling; governing; prevailing; controlling; predominant; as, the dominant party, church, spirit, power.
The member of a dominant race is, in his dealings with the subject race, seldom indeed fraudulent, . . . but imperious, insolent, and cruel.
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Dominant

The fifth tone of the scale; thus G is the dominant of C, A of D, and so on.
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Dominant

(music) the fifth note of the diatonic scale
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Dominant

Exercising influence or control;
Television plays a dominant role in molding public opinion
The dominant partner in the marriage
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Dominant

Of genes; producing the same phenotype whether its allele is identical or dissimilar
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Dominant

Exerting influence
The dominant player scored the winning goal.
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

Is predominant about quantity or quality?

It's primarily about quantity or frequency.
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What does dominant mean?

It means having authority or influence over others.
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Can dominant refer to a gene?

Yes, it refers to a gene that expresses itself over a recessive gene.
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Is a dominant species always the predator?

Not necessarily, but they often have a significant impact on their ecosystem.
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Can a color be dominant in design?

Yes, it can be the most striking and noticeable feature.
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What does predominant mean?

It means being the most common or widespread.
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Is a predominant factor always the deciding one?

Not always, but it is often a significant consideration.
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Is being dominant always positive?

Not always; it can be negative if it leads to oppression or imbalance.
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Can a flavor be predominant in a dish?

Yes, it can be the most noticeable taste.
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Can the mood be predominant in literature?

Yes, it can be the most pervasive or noticeable mood.
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Can weather patterns be predominant?

Yes, certain weather patterns can be most frequent in a region.
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Can something be both dominant and predominant?

Yes, something can be both most influential and most common.
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Does the dominant part of a group make all decisions?

Typically, yes, due to their influence.
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Is a predominant opinion always followed?

Not necessarily, but it can heavily influence decisions.
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How is predominant used in demographics?

To describe the most common characteristics in a population.
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Does a dominant figure always lead?

Often, but not exclusively so.
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Can a company be a dominant market force?

Yes, if it has significant control over market conditions.
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Can technology be predominant in a culture?

Yes, when it's the most widespread or commonly used.
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Does predominant imply superiority?

No, it's about being the most common, not necessarily superior.
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How do you determine if a trait is dominant?

Through genetic expression over other traits.
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Shumaila Saeed
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Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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